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Full text of "ModernGermanLiterature18801950"



A3 Holz was all his life long a fanatical theorist experi-
menting out in the cold. The harvest of the new idea was
reaped by GERHART HAUPTMANN (1862-1946) and his dis-
ciples. Gerhart Hauptmann was born in the Silesian health resort
of Obersalzbrunn; his father was the landlord and owner of the
hotel Zur Preussischen Krone, Silesian birth and upbringing and the
events of his youth are of importance in the work of this poet, for
his use of Silesian dialect belongs to the history of the develop-
ment of literature, and his adolescence comes into the subject-
matter of work after work. He was educated at Obersalzbrunn,
and then at the TLealschule of Breslau. He was so negligent or un-
receptive at his studies that he was sent to his uncle's farm to
learn practical farming. But he was too dreamy for this business,
and was taken back and sent to be trained as a sculptor at the
Runstschuk at Breslau, from which he was sent down for insubordin-
ation. At this period it was feared that he might be consumptive.
Then he joined his brother Carl, who was studying at the Uni-
versity of Jena; here he attended lectures by Haeckel. Too restless
for methodical study, he set out on a sea voyage from Hamburg
to Spain and Italy; his impressions made up his first book of verse,
Promethidenlos (1885), an imitation otChilde Harold', noteworthy is
the marked sympathy in the book with the outcast. On his return,
Gerhart married a well-to-do woman, whose means enabled him
to live in Erkner, a Berlin suburb. Before settling down to domes-
ticated reading he had, however, made a last attempt at being a
sculptor in Italy. His studies at Erkner were mainly scientific or
economic; he read Darwin and Marx. His social feeling was in
the best sense religious: at the base of it was the goodness of his